The Glasgow Youth Film Festival officially kicks off today, continuing its unique tradition of celebrating the ambition and talent of young people in the Scottish city and across the world. Programmed by a group of 15-18 year olds, the festival’s schedule includes the likes of Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeats,” Mohamed Al-Daradji’s “Son of Babylon,” Ben C Lucas’s “Wasted on the Young,” Andy DeEmmony’s “West is West,” and Diego Luna’s “Abel.”
“Since GYFF is programmed entirely by teenagers, it’s encouraging to witness more young people in Glasgow attend each year,” Paul Macgregor, Producer of GYFF and Learning Projects Coordinator for Glasgow Film Theatre, told indieWIRE. “The GYFF Youth Team are completely hands on: they choose the films, introduce screenings, direct promo trailers and host discussions with festival guests. They’re full of intelligence and ambition, plus they’re not afraid to show their enthusiasm for a film they love. I’m really proud of them all as I’ve seen their confidence grow so much and they’ve chosen some amazing films like ‘Heartbeats,’ ‘Dancing Dreams’ or ‘Wasted on the Young.’ There’s a definite sense of growing recognition for Glasgow Youth Film Festival by other festivals around the world and it’s all down to the hard work of the young people involved.”
One of the programmers, Rebecca Tritschler, told indieWIRE that in her six months working with the festival she’s “learned a lot about the film industry, developed a love for world cinema and more importantly, made friends with like-minded people.”
“Plus, there’s much more to Glasgow Youth Film Festival than just the films,” she continued. “There are lots of special events and workshops surrounding the festival too. We’ve tried to pick films for people our age will really enjoy, not films that we’re assumed to like and we’ve avoid typical choices. We’re all just really excited at the moment, I can’t wait for it to kick off.”
A rundown of all the programmers and their interests can be found here, while the festival’s entire lineup is available here. The festival runs through next Sunday, February 20th as part of the Glasgow Film Festival proper.